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Battlefield Cross Country: Cougars, Foxes claim titles
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
When Scott Mersiowsky took over the Courtland cross country program in 2011, he noticed a lack of Battlefield District banners on the gymnasium wall.
Mersiowsky wanted to help change that.
He and the Cougars accomplished their mission on Wednesday at Culpeper High School. Courtland captured its first district championship since 1994 as it distanced itself from second-place Spotsylvania, 43–68. Knights senior Ted Bailey won the individual title.
“It feels great,” Mersiowsky said. “When I came here I said, ‘I want to bring another district championship to this school.’ Goal No. 1 has been met.”
While Mersiowsky is a newcomer to winning district championships, King George’s Cathy Binder has come to expect them.
Binder’s girls won their second straight title and third in the past four years. The lone exception was 2010 when Spotsylvania captured the crown.
“They didn’t like seeing somebody else hold up their trophy,” Binder said of her runners. “So they worked hard the last two years to get it back.”
The top 15 individuals and the top four teams advance to the Region I meet Oct. 31 at Loriella Park in Spotsylvania County.
Courtland, Chancellor and Eastern View round out the top four girl teams. In addition to Courtland and Spotsylvania, Chancellor’s and Culpeper’s boys qualified for regionals.
Six King George girls finished in the top 15, paced by champion Haley Armentrout, who won for the second straight year.
Armentrout said she was focused on defeating rival Victoria Parent of Courtland, whom she said she’d been “battling all year.”
Parent, who placed second, won the district’s mini invitational earlier this season at Culpeper. However, Armentrout responded with a victory at the All-Area meet last week at Fredericksburg Christian School.
“That helped me a lot,” Armentrout said of the confidence boost from that victory. “I definitely needed that. It made me focus more and train harder.”
Kyler Jourdan’s fourth-place finish was the best showing for Courtland’s boys. But four other Cougars placed in the top 15, including the coach’s son, Jonathan Mersiowsky, who finished fifth.
Jonathan said he and the other top four Cougars have trained diligently all year and none missed a single meet.
“It’s been a lot of hard work,” said Jonathan, a junior. “Since the beginning of August, we’ve been going for this. To be where we are, we’re really excited about it.”
Bailey was excited about his championship, too. He said he wanted to “uphold the tradition” at Spotsylvania because a Knight had won two of the previous three individual titles. Bailey was pushed by Chancellor sophomore Neil Schubel, who placed second.
“It just feels kind of surreal right now,” Bailey said. “I crossed the finish line and I couldn’t believe it.”
Team scores: 1. King George 33, 2. Courtland 79, 3. Chancellor 81, 4. Eastern View 99, 5. James Monroe 100, 6. Culpeper 119.
Top 15 individuals: 1. Haley Armentrout (KG) 20:18.10, 2. Victoria Parent (Ct) 20:40.61, 3. Madalyn Amos (Ch) 20:55.86, 4. Emmie Schmitt (Sp) 20:58.23, 5. Hannah Sharp (Ch) 21:36.75, 6. Kristen Hornbaker (KG) 21:39.71, 7. Ashley Perkins (KG) 21:49.23, 8. Ranea Saadeh (EV) 21:50.33, 9. Alana Collins (Ch) 21:55.14, 10. Kelsey Metcalf (Cu) 21:56.02, 11. Lindsey Armentrout (KG) 22:04.54, 12. Anna Kniceley (KG) 22:07.38, 13. Aaliyah Cyrus (Cu) 22:09.40, 14. Katherine Smith (JM) 22:10.33, 15. Tabitha Kim (KG) 22:35.55.
Team scores: 1. Courtland 43, 2. Spotsylvania 68, 3. Chancellor 75, 4. Culpeper 103, 5. King George 109, 6. Caroline 119, 7. James Monroe 177, 8. Eastern View 177.
Top 15 individuals: 1. Ted Bailey (Sp) 17:25.30, 2. Neil Schubel (Ch) 17:30.70; 3. Aaron Carter (Ca) 18:01.21, 4. Kyler Jourdan (Ct) 18:05.37, 5. Jonathan Mersiowsky (Ct) 18:13.68, 6. Clay Metcalf (Cu) 18:14.21, 7. Travis Hinton (Ch) 18:15.54, 8. Elliott Sellers (Cu) 18:17.38, 9. Michael Amrhine (Ct) 18:19.31,10. Andrew Thorpe (Ct) 18:22.31, 11. Christian Koon (KG) 18:26.07, 12. Kyle Newton (Sp) 18:26.93, 13. Sawyer Czarnecki (Sp) 18:27.88, 14. Blake Harty (EV) 18:30.55, 15. Jacob Harris (Ct) 18:30.88.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526